Russia Orders Closure of Independent News Site’s Twitter Account

Russia has demanded that Twitter delete the independent news website MBKh Media’s account for allegedly publishing an “undesirable” organization’s materials, the outlet said Wednesday. The reported demand comes a day after Russia’s state communications regulator Roskomnadzor threatened to block Twitter itself for failing to delete tweets containing child pornography, suicide and drug use.  MBKh said…

Putin Likely Authorized Anti-Biden Influence in 2020 Campaign, U.S. Intelligence Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely authorized influence operations against then-President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden during the 2020 election campaign, the U.S. intelligence community said in its first assessment on the matter Tuesday. Biden defeated Republican Trump in November, and Putin was one of the only world leaders to wait until the Electoral College certified his…

Russia Threatens to Block Twitter Within 30 Days

Russia will block Twitter within a month if it fails to delete banned content, authorities told state media Tuesday. Vadim Subbotin, the deputy chief of Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, issued the warning a week after the country began slowing down the social media platform’s speed over the dispute. The agency acted amid tensions with western…

Apple Allows Russia to Pre-Install Domestic Apps on Devices

Apple has agreed to pre-install Russian apps on all its devices activated within the country starting April 1, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday.  The Russian-developed software will include messengers, internet browsers, antivirus software, email, food delivery and taxi-hailing apps, Vedomosti reported.  According to the agreement, all users who turn on an Apple device purchased…

Russian Journalists Air ‘Silent Broadcasts’ to Dodge Prosecution

Russian journalists in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk have started airing “silent broadcasts” as a way to avoid prosecution, the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty news outlet reported Monday. The live-streams of protests without commentary follow the detentions of several journalists in recent months for “participation in unsanctioned rallies,” RFE/RL’s Siberian affiliate Sibir.Realii reported. …

Navalny Moved to Notorious Prison Colony

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been moved to the IK-2 penal colony in the Vladimir region, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday, citing an official court letter it obtained.  Navalny’s whereabouts had been unknown since Friday, when his team said he was moved from a pre-trial detention center outside Moscow where he was…

Russian Investigative Paper Novaya Gazeta Says Targeted in ‘Chemical Attack’

The prominent Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta said Monday that its offices in Moscow had been targeted with a “chemical attack.” “In the morning a chemical attack was carried out on the building where our editorial office is located,” the independent media outlet’s editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov said in a statement. He added that law enforcement…

Ex-Chechen Policeman Testifies to ‘Worst Crime of Post-War Chechnya’ – Novaya Gazeta

The investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper on Monday has published a former Chechen police officer’s testimony to the extrajudicial killings of dozens of detainees four years ago. The account of Suleiman Gezmakhmayev, a former staff sergeant of the Akhmad Kadyrov Police Patrol Service Regiment, adds damning evidence to Novaya’s investigations claiming that Chechen security officials executed 27…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 15

Russia has confirmed 4,400,045 cases of coronavirus and 92,494 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. According to figures published by state statistics agency Rosstat, Russia’s real coronavirus death toll stands at 131,118, with the virus present in another 69,314 deaths. March 15: What you need to know today Russia on Monday confirmed 9,437 new coronavirus cases…

EU Considers Launching Sputnik V Purchase Negotiations – Reuters

European Union officials are considering launching negotiations to purchase Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Monday, citing EU diplomatic and official sources. The move would mark a major turnaround for Brussels, which has publicly dismissed Russia’s global vaccine supply campaign as a propaganda effort while facing criticism for its own sluggish vaccine rollout. Faced…

Dozens Arrested at Russian Opposition Forum

Russian police on Saturday arrested dozens of opposition politicians and municipal deputies at a conference in Moscow, organizers and participants said.  Participants from more than 50 of Russia’s regions had gathered to discuss parliamentary and local elections in September at a forum organized by a project backed by prominent Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Forty minutes…

Countries Slam Russia at UN Over Navalny Case

Dozens of countries took Russia to task at the UN on Friday over its imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and slammed numerous “arbitrary arrests” of his supporters. In a historic joint statement delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 45 countries voiced alarm at “the deteriorating situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms”…

Austria Convicts Chechen ‘Moral Guardians’ for Harassing Women – Reports

Five Chechen men went on trial in Austria for outing and harassing female compatriots for exhibiting “Western behavior,” Austrian media reported Thursday. The defendants were accused of running an online chat where they threatened, intimidated and occasionally abused Chechen women for allegedly not adhering to strict Islamic rules, according to the Die Presse daily. “The…

Slovakia Health Minister Resigns Over Sputnik V Dispute

Slovakia’s health minister has announced his resignation after coming under pressure from the country’s four-party ruling coalition for ordering Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Thursday.  Slovakia became the second EU country after Hungary to purchase Sputnik V for national use, bypassing EU authorization of the jab. Prime Minister Igor Matovic ignited backlash from…

Russia Warns of H5N8 Bird Flu Transmission

The mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission, Russian authorities warned Friday. Anna Popova, who heads Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, made the prediction nearly a month after scientists detected the first case of H5N8 transmission to humans at a southern Russia poultry farm. “There’s a fairly high degree of…

Poland Accuses Deported Russian Diplomat of Spreading Coronavirus – Reports

Polish officials have accused a deported Russian diplomat of endangering others by failing to self-isolate when he got infected with coronavirus earlier this year, Polish media reported Wednesday. Poznan consul Igor Oshchepkov was among the Russian diplomats that Poland, Germany and Sweden expelled in February in retaliation to Moscow’s identical steps for the European diplomats’…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 10

Russia has confirmed 4,351,553 cases of coronavirus and 90,275 deaths. March 10: What you need to know today Russia on Wednesday confirmed 9,079 new coronavirus cases and 466 deaths. Morocco and Kenya have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Wednesday.  Tunisia on Tuesday received a shipment of 30,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik…

Russia Says ‘Equipment Failure’ Behind Government Website Outages, Not Twitter Slowdown

Russia blamed “equipment failure” at the state internet provider for mass government website outages after authorities said they will slow down Twitter for Russian users Wednesday. The websites of the Kremlin and Russian government as well as both chambers of parliament briefly went down after Russia announced it will slow Twitter’s loading speed within the country…

In Photos: Eurasia’s Highest Volcano Erupts in Russia’s Kamchatka

Eurasia’s highest active volcano, Kluchevskaya Sopka, erupted in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula earlier this month.  Luckily for those who are not able (or too scared) to witness the equally dangerous and spectacular natural phenomenon with their own eyes, the continuous explosive activity is being documented on camera and widely shared on social media.  Kluchevskaya Sopka was…

Russia Disrupts Twitter Access in Banned Content Row

Russia’s media watchdog announced Wednesday that it will disrupt Twitter’s loading speeds within the country for failing to remove banned content, a move that experts say represents a new crackdown on foreign social media. “Starting March 10, 2021, centralized response measures have been taken against Twitter to protect Russian citizens and force the internet service to…

Putin Greenlights Prison Phone Jamming to Combat Scams

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation Wednesday allowing phone companies to jam communication in prisons in order to prevent scams. The legislation’s authors say that convicts use contraband cellphones to commit fraud and witness intimidation as well as control the actions of fugitive members of criminal organizations. Under the newly signed amendments to Russia’s criminal…